Breakfast, great virtues

SOn their way back to school or work, how many are those who advance with enthusiasm and vitality, with a quick pace, a lively mind and a full stomach? Breakfast alone should cover a quarter of the day’s energy needs, according to the recommendations of the National Health Nutrition Program (PNNS). Essential fuel for the head and legs, this meeting place at the crossroads of night and day experiences a paradoxical fate. Crowned with the status of informal meal, à la carte, free time, freed from the injunctions of conversation, it is readily associated with sweet and comforting recipes with childhood flavors… Everything to please, in theory. And yet, if the vast majority of French people like to butter their rusk like OSS 117, the ritual remains largely standardized (hot drink and toast), swallowed quickly, or even skipped.

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The health crisis has nevertheless shaken up breakfast bowls. Forced immobility and more availability: after the first confinement, 49% of parents said they had prepared more complete and balanced breakfasts for their family than usual, according to a study (Opinionway for Lactel, June 2020). In the relevant departments of supermarkets, this resulted in strong sales growth in 2020. “On the other hand, the breakfast universe is in decline in the first half of 2021, due to less severe restrictions and improved mobility”, explains Emily Mayer, consumer products specialist. The only category that continues to grow, she says, is that of hot drinks, which are sipped in telework beyond the morning slot to replace breaks at the coffee machine.

French scheme

If the traditional French style continues (bread or cereals, hot drink, fruit or fruit juice, possibly dairy product, very little salt), the composition of the petit dèj ‘testifies, for twenty years, of an aspiration to a healthier food, without excess sugar, without bad fats and excluding processed products. Organic, well established in this universe through products such as milk, “Is subject to competition from alternative proposals for better eating, the additional cost of which is lower”, observes Emily Mayer: milks committed to the remuneration of producers, compotes without added sugar, fair trade coffee … Finally, according to the consumption specialist, “The health crisis has exacerbated the link between food and health. However, as we consume more raw foods in the morning than at other meals, this makes it a favorable context for immune and boosting food, for example superfruits [baie de goji ou d’açaï, acérola, etc.] »

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